WonderCon: The Cowboys & Aliens Panel

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Fandom favorites Jon Favreau and Roberto Orci took to WonderCon’s stage today to promote their upcoming Cowboys & Aliens.

With the film hitting theaters on July 29th (the week after Comic-Con), Favreau explained that this is his last chance for audience reaction to have a serious effect on the post-production process of the film. With nine minutes of footage revealed to a very happy crowd, Favreau looks to be on the right track.

The footage begins with Daniel Craig, beaten and bloody, walking into an empty western town. He looks in the window of a building that appears to be abandoned and goes inside, examining his wounds in the mirror. At his side is a strange cut, like a fresh appendectomy scar, but just as he examines it, he finds a gun to his head. The gunman tells him that only criminals or victims get shot and wants to know which one he is. Craig says he doesn’t know. The gunman asks him his name and he says he doesn’t know that either.

“What do you know?” asks the gunman.

“English,” says Craig.

The next scene has Harrison Ford’s character in a field that’s filled with the remains of cattle. He’s got a man on the ground tied up in ropes and asks him what kind of a person blows up cows for fun. The man on the ground tries to explain that it wasn’t him and we see the scene in a flashback. He’s in the field with the cattle when an alien weapon detonates, obliterating everything and knocking the man into the water. Ford doesn’t believe him and slaps the back of the horse that the man is tied to. It takes off, dragging the man across the desert to his death while Ford and his men, mercilessly ride back to town.

Following that is an extended version of the scene in the trailer where the spaceship makes it’s first appearance to the shock of the town. Craig and Ford (who clearly don’t like or trust one another) approach the downed ship while the rest of the town (including Sam Rockwell as a townsperson whose wife has been taken) look on in fear. Craig and Ford move closer and closer, Ford with his six-shooter and Craig with his high-tech wrist device. There’s a jump when Ford nervously shoots the ship by mistake and then catches himself.

On the ground, there are large alien footprints. Ford says that he’s going out in search of those who have been kidnapped and tells Craig that he’s coming along whether he likes it or not because he’s got the only weapon that’s effective against the aliens. The two argue to the point of punching one another in the face, but seem to reluctantly team up.

From there, the footage goes into a montage, including the first shot of an alien. They’re large, multi-limbed creatures, though Favreau noted that the one we saw (which is very loosely sketched below from memory) is different from the ones that will be used in marketing. He also added that the footage won’t be put online in this version.

Other highlights of the panel included Favreau stating (with a laugh) that he won’t cameo in Cowboys & Aliens after “Family Guy” made fun of him for being in all his own movies. He also said that, while he won’t be directing Iron Man 3, he loves Shane Black and is “open to anything” when it comes to reprising his role as Happy Hogan.

Come back soon for interviews with both Favreau and Orci and check out (very rough) sketch of the alien, shown peering through a crack between two rocks, below:

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